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This Week With George Stephanopoulos

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America 16, Washington 13, Us 11, Boehner 7, Wayne Lapierre 7, Isakson 6, Grover 6, Klobuchar 5, Grover Norquist 5, Nra 5, Newark 5, Chicago 5, Obama 4, Hagel 4, Manchin 4, Newtown 4, Alabama 3, Minnesota 3, Israel 3, Matthew Dowd 3,
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  WJLA    This Week With George Stephanopoulos    News/Business. Political guests  
   and viewpoints. New. (HD) (CC)  

    December 23, 2012
    10:00 - 10:59am EST  

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good morning, and welcome to "this week." >> the clock is ticking. >> nobody gets 100% of what they want. >> fiscal cliff chaos. >> it's not the outcome that i wanted, but that was the will of the house. >> after speaker boehner's stinging defeat, is there any way to salvage a deal and strengthen our economy? >> how we get there, god only knows. >> i actually still think we can get it done. >> the science from the nra. >> blood-soaked films out there. violent video games. the national media machine. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. and a new pick for secretary of state. our headliner this morning, the nra's new point person on school shootings, asa hutchinson. then the senate debate with
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republican johnny isakson and democrat amy klobuchar. plus our powerhouse roundtable with newark mayor cory booker, anti-tax activist and nra board member grover norquist, peggy noonan of "the wall street journal" and katrina vanden heuvel from "the nation." hello, again. the president and congress are off for christmas fleeing a capitol filled with political rancor and political dysfunction. fiscal cliff talks have completely collapsed. questions about the president's new national security team has forced him to announce the appointments piecemeal and the nra's first response to the tragedy in newtown provoked a fierce debate. we'll cover that starting with the nra's choice to lead a national effort to protect schools, former congressman, asa hutchinson.
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good morning, mr. hutchinson. thanks for joining us this morning. >> hi. >> you emphasized at the press conference friday you will be independent. but as you begin your effort, this national school shield, initiative, i wonder if you agree with the analysis of the problem laid out by wayne lapierre who says americans have to face this truth. take a look. >> politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones, and in doing so, they tell every insane killer in america that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. >> do you personally believe, congressman, that gun-free school zones have been invitations to mayhem and that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun? >> well, i think that when you look at school safety, you've got to put armed guards into the equation. i've made it clear that it should not be a mandatory law
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that every school has there. there should be local choice but absolutely, i believe that protecting our children with an armed guard who is trained is an important part of the equation. we have two-thirds of our schools or, excuse me, one-third of our schools in america right now with an armed off-duty police officer or resource officer. if you have a choice of sending your child to a school that has that type of protection versus not, i think most people in america would say, let's go to what would be the school that invests in that type of safety and security. >> so when governor chris christie, others say that you don't want to turn schools into an armed camp for kids, you dismiss that criticism? >> well, i do. let's compare this back to the federal air marshal program on airplanes. there was intense debate that on airplanes, guns have no place and yet we have a federal air marshal program that i helped to oversee and which is provided a deterrent.
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it has increased the safety of the airlines, and it's not like it's an armed camp when you go on the airlines. it's a very discreet use of armed guards that has a presence there to protect america. are our children less important to protect than our air transportation? i don't think so. so i think it's a very reasonable approach. >> you say it should be part of the solution. i guess one of the questions is, should it be a complement to other efforts or a substitute for other efforts. even strong supporters like senator snow manchin has argued everything should be on the table and has a piece in "the washington post." he says "if you think the problem of mass violence in our country is just about gun, you're wrong. if you think it's just about an entertain industries that markets to kids you're wrong. if you think it's just about insufficient security or the lack of mental health services for troubled young people and adults you're wrong. we need to address all of them" is he right? >> well, i think you need a
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broader debate. part of that debate that i'm focused on is safety in the schools but absolutely. you have a mental health issue and component to this. i would make the point when it comes to more restrictions on firearms in our society, that if we go down that path, we're going to miss the focal point of providing safety. i think that is really the wrong debate to have. we've had an assault weapon ban previous in our history. you have school violence continued. it's not restricted to weapons that you think of timothy mcveigh, he used fertilizer to conduct his mayhem. so i would rather focus on the safety side, what we do to better secure and protect our children at school. >> are you saying that the gun debate shouldn't be part of this at all? >> well, it's -- sure, i mean congress is going to debate this. i just think it's not part of the ultimate solution on this.
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when you think about bringing together nationwide experts to provide some solutions for the schools, that really is what i think is most important. right now you've got states introducing laws that would mandate teachers to carry guns. you're having a whole potpourri of solutions, and i think if we get our experts together that could provide some things, that's a better direction to go that's thoughtful that provides some solutions in terms of safety. >> you don't think these states should mandate teachers carrying guns? >> no, i -- you think about a teacher, they go to educate these young people. they're not there to carry concealed weapons and provide that protection. they have to fulfill that role and they do it very bravely sometimes but i think it's much better to have a retired police officer or retired military person who's been trained for sensitive environments that can provide the protection, an added
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level of security and other security measures, not just that. let the teachers teach and let others protect. >> i think that some people would agree with the idea of having armed security guards in the school if the community wanted it, but they would also say at the same time we have to have some commonsense restrictions on guns. you shouldn't have high-capacity magazines that can shoot 30 bullets. senator manchin said background checks for those who buy them at gun shows, not just from registered dealers. what's wrong with those? >> i think it takes away -- it -- whenever you pass those kind of laws, you think, well, we've done something. we've somehow made our children more safe, so you go home. i don't think the job is really accomplishing anything if you take that approach. >> butut why not do both? >> because the children will still be unsafe. >> why not do what you're recommending and have gun control? >> well, i don't think that's the solution.
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congress can debate that. i will focus my energies, not on the political side, but simply on the technical, security and safety side, and i think that that's going to accomplish more in helping our schools protect the children than anything else that we can do. >> finally let's bring this back to the children and those victimes in newtown. some of the families have now begun to speak out. i want to show mark and jacqueline barden. their daughter was killed in newtown, and here's what they had to say to katie couric. >> my daughter natalie was interested in asking him if he could pass some kind of legislation so that the only people that had guns were military personnel and law enforcement and if people needed guns for sport, that they could go to a range and the guns would have to stay there. that was my 10-year-old daughter. that was all her own original thought. >> she just doesn't understand
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how somebody could have access to walk into a school with this stuff. >> i apologize. it was their son, but what do you say to the barden family? >> i just say, my heart goes out for you. it is an incredibly grieving time for them, for the city of newtown and our nation, and we look forward to getting their thoughts, as well as many others as we develop what we all want to do, which is better safety programs. we want to protect our children, and that's what we have in common together. >> congressman, thanks for your time this morning. let's turn now to our senate democrat with democrat amy klobuchar of minnesota and johnny isakson of georgia. senator klobuchar, let me begin with you. you just heard congressman hutchinson. what's your response to the gun debate there? >> i'm a former prosecutor and oversaw efforts with our school safety with 25 major high schools and i have to say that
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this was part of the equation, that we have to look at this just as we look at all issues and see in there's other things we can do to help local schools with school safety. but we have to go beyond that because we know we can't have an armed guard at every doorway and every classroom. so you have to take a look at these mass shootings taking place in houses of worship and movie theaters. looking at this and other senators supported by the nra in the past, point out and look at things like high-capacity magazines. putting some limits on that could be part of the solution but not the only solution. the background checks, my republican sheriff was in to see me and we talked about the fact that 19 states have only submitted less than a hundred records on mental illness, on criminal backgrounds. that's what we're talking about here is looking at making sure we go after what seems to be the common thread through these mass shootings, which is people with
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severe mental illnesses getting hold of guns and at some points assault weapons, guns that literally can shoot 3 to 11 bullets into one child which is what we saw in newtown, and i will say in what we saw in newtown is one thing. but i also understand in my state, which is a state that loves our hunting and our fishing, that we have to do this in a way that isn't going to take the guns out of the hands of our hunters, out of the hands of my uncle and his deer stand and i don't think that's going to happen if we look at these commonsense solutions, but we have an opportunity now to move forward and get all these ideas on the table, and as long as we move quickly, get the ideas together, we're going to have hearings in the judiciary committee, i think we have an opportunity to do something. >> senator isakson, are you willing to put those ideas on the table? >> miss klobuchar made a good remark about mental health. that's the common thread that's run through all of them. when i was in the georgia state senate in 1995 i part of the conference committee that wrote the
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background check law available in georgia today but she's right, very few of these work so we have to improve that to make sure that common thread no longer exists. >> and but are you willing to consider the other proposals that she just discussed, broader background checks, federal background checks, some restrictions on high-capacity magazines? >> i'm happy for a commission to look into every aspect. i want to remind you, george, in fact, i think you were in the white house in '94 when the assault weapon ban passed and columbine took place in 1999, five years into that ban, which is now expired, so bans alone don't solve the problem. >> senator klobuchar? >> well, when you look at what happened in colorado where we had their high-capacity magazine and you look at what happened in newtown, both of those situations, and, of course, it's not going to be the same in every situation in every tragedy, but both of those involved those types of guns, and if we can do something to limit them and if we can get some bipartisan agreement, i think we can move forward on that. we had a shooting in minnesota, a small business, you know, six
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people gunned down with an employee that clearly had a mental illness, should not have had access to those guns. every situation is different, but when you look at some of the last few shootings, they did involve those kinds of high-capacity magazines, and i think that has to be part of the equation in addition to looking at the background checks. the staff that i always remember came from the uncle of a little girl killed in newtown and that uncle who lives in minnesota said that there were once ten girls in the girl scout troop of his niece, and now there's only five. >> let me turn now to the fiscal cliff discussion. we saw those talks between the house speaker and president obama collapse this week. all eyes now on the senate. i want to show what the president called for before he left for his christmas holiday on friday afternoon. here's the president. >> all of us, every single one of us, agrees that tax rates shouldn't go up for the other 98% of americans, so there is absolutely no reason, none, not
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to protect these americans from a tax hike. >> senator isakson, he said every republican, every democrat in washington said everyone earning under $250,000 shouldn't get a tax hike. so he wants to put that on the floor along with an extension of unemployment benefits and some relief from this that's going to hit january 1st. any chance you could support that, senator isakson? >> i feel the house should have passed speaker boehner's bill and the president's statement is right, no one wants taxes to go up on the middle class. i don't want them to go up on anybody, but i'm not in the majority in the united states senate, and he's the president of the united states. if we get down to the end of the this year, and the only choice is to save taxes going up on the middle class, then i would support that, but i wish we would have a comprehensive bill that dealt with spending, entitlements and taxes altogether. that's really what we ought to do. >> is that still realistic with
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time running short now? >> it's not realistic, but it was realistic december 1st. it's time for us to get down to work and do the people's business. >> senator klobuchar, you heard senator isakson support a bill like that. is that what you expect your leader, senator reid, to bring to the floor? >> well, we have already passed that in the senate, as you know, george, for keeping the tax cuts in place for the middle class, people making under 250,000 a year, and as you know, if we go back to the clinton levels for people making over 250,000, we literally save a trillion dollars in ten years but i will say, johnny isakson is a guy i like a lot. you can see his willingness to talk about things in the middle is what we need in washington and the main thing that needs to happen here is that speaker boehner and the house of representatives have to come back to washington. the senate is coming back on december 27th. i think, you know, most members are used to spending that christmas to new year's at home in their home states. it is time to get back to the
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table, and i hope if anyone sees these representatives from the house in line shopping or getting their christmas turkey, they wish them a merry christmas, they're civil, and then say go back to the table, not your own table, the table in washington because middle class people shouldn't have their taxes go up an average of $2,000 a year, and we also should start making some meaningful reform on the debt and i would love to see a bigger deal. i'd like nothing more and there's always miracles. it's christmas, "miracle on 34th street." could have a miracle on pennsylvania avenue. >> that might take a miracle, but senator isakson, you've been pretty confident that we wouldn't go off the cliff and taxes would not go up on everyone. do you still have that confidence, or do you think it's a greater possibility right now? >> i sold houses for 33 years, i'm an eternal optimist but time is running out. the truth is, if we do fall off the cliff after the president is inaugurated, he'll come back and propose just what he proposed yesterday in leaving washington and we'll end up adopting it but
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why should we put the markets in such turmoil and the people in such misunderstanding or lack of confidence. why don't we go ahead and act now. >> sounds like both senators want some action there. finally on the president's national security team, and i want to start with you, senator isakson, because you are on the senate foreign relations committee. senator kerry, the president's pick for secretary of state. but several of your colleagues have raised questions about the possibility of chuck hagel, your former colleague from nebraska, being secretary of defense. john cornyn said he would oppose that nomination because of his views on israel and other issues. would you have any problem with that nomination of senator hagel or for that matter senator kerry? >> well, i have no problem at all with john kerry. i've served with him for four years on the senate foreign relations committee. he's done outstanding work particularly in the middle east, has been a great envoy and diplomat to the united states and i think he would do great as secretary of state. as far as mr. hagel is concerned, i served with him on
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the senate, but he hasn't been nominated yet and i'll reserve any judgment until after the hearings we have on confirmation if, in fact, he is nominated. >> senator klobuchar, on senator hagel, even the top democrat on the foreign affairs committee eliot engel said he has severe issues with secretary -- the possibility of secretary hagel because of what he called his endemic hostility towards israel. do you share those concerns? >> well, again, i want to see what happens to these hearings. i intersected a brief period of time with senator hagel and have a lot of respect for who the president nominates and i want to say that john kerry was awarded the purple heart in vietnam, led the foreign relations committee and shown the ability to get tough things done like the nuclear arms treaty a few years back really will follow in the footsteps of a superb secretary of state hillary clinton and the president has put together in the past a good national security team. i'm sure he'll do so again. >> senators, thanks for your time. good luck solving this problem on thursday. >> merry christmas economy,
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♪ our powerhouse roundtable is
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pacific life. let'for an idea.s - a grand idea called america. the idea that if you work hard, if you have a dream, if you work with your neighbors... you can do most anythi this led to other ideas like liberty and rock 'n' roll. to free markets, free enterprise, and free refills. it put a man on the moon and a phone in your pocket. our country's gone through a lot over the centuries and a half.
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but this idea isn't fragile. when times get tough, it rallies us as one. every day, more people believe in the american idea and when they do, the dream comes true. we're grateful to be a part of it. ♪ >> it wasn't until i was 11 years old that i recall even learning what a u.s. senator was, and the person who fascinated me most was this man of japanese descent with one arm, full of dignity and grace, and so to see this man, this senator, this powerful, accomplished person who was not
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a central cast, the way he commanded the respect of an entire nation, i think it hinted to me what might be possible in my own life. >> president obama remembering senator daniel inouye on friday. a rare moment in washington where democrats and republicans came together. that american hero. we'll talk about the rest of the week's politicians on our roundtable joined by peggy noonan of "the wall street journal," mayor cory booker of newark, abc's political analyst matthew dowd, also grover norquist, also an nra board member and katrina vanden heuvel, publisher and editor of "the nation," and you also write a weekly column for washingtonpost.com. you have a blow-by-blow account of how the speaker's plan collapsed after the president's plan collapsed, as well. in your view what went wrong? it seems like there were so many
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wrong turns and an absolute collapse. >> yeah, it has been a bit of a debacle, i think you can say. i think the speaker has been in an impossible situation, and i think that he tried to put forward a plan that just might save things a little, and it didn't work. i do think part of the story, which doesn't get enough attention from folks like us, is that the president has been a little michael corleone towards the republicans in the negotiations with boehner and that essentially he is saying when boehner says, i'll give you this, i'll give you this, i think the president is saying this is what i'll give you, nothing. he doesn't want to reduce spending. the republicans are willing to bend on taxes but spending is where the real action is, and i really do think that this may go up to the end and may go over. >> i think that's very possible.
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matthew dowd, one of the things the white house will argue they did the spending cuts last year. no question of the president taking a firm line in these negotiations but speaking of the impossible situation, that peggy just mentioned, it does appear no matter what speaker boehner negotiates with the president, it is something that cannot get through his conference. >> well, first, merry christmas to you and your family and everybody here. happy holidays to all that and have a sticker my daughter made me wear santa claus until santa claus comes, better be nice and not naughty. i think this demonstrates, this fiscal cliff and i know we'll talk about the whole debate over hometown or newtown which i actually think encompasses a problem that's systematic in this country. the dogma on the far left and far left stake out purity of positions and doesn't allow the people in the middle that have to gain the yards on the field to get the job they need to get done and both stick to a dogma that's not true and
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the public doesn't believe. they want to stick to a dogma you can't raise taxes and democrats say you can't do anything to fix entitlements and the only way you can really fix this fiscal problem that exists, which is even if you resolve the fiscal cliff, we still have a fiscal problem is go in the middle and argue over both tax increases which everybody knows needs to go up in order to fix it and spending cuts and entitlements. >> it may not exist in washington. on your point about dogma, grover norquist, of course, you popularized the no tax pledge for many years. on this plan by the speaker which would have allowed taxes to go up, your group said it wasn't a tax increase and that still wasn't good tough for a lot of house republicans. >> look, let's understand, there is a plan to actually solve the debt that's been run up, the deficits to continue, the entitlement reform and tax reform to get more pro-growth, tax reform, and that's the ryan
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plan, which has actually passed twice by the house of representatives. people can talk -- >> no support from the president. it's not going anywhere. >> the democrats haven't done a budget in three, four year, haven't put anything forward that deals with entitlements. there's one and only one plan that has actually been passed by one house. the president hasn't put anything forward that fixes entitlements. his budget, his plan if you continue it out, you know, to 2040, 2050 takes 38% of gdp and the economy collapses. >> this gets to an issue which others have brought up during the week. it is -- you're right, congressman ryan's plan passed the house but there has been an election and house republicans are only one part of of washington right now. >> and the president is only one part. the republicans actually passed a budget that -- not a budget, not just a budget but a budget
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plan that goes out through the year, gives you entitlement reform and pro-growth tax reform and doesn't have to raise taxes, the left wants to raise taxes but you don't have to balance the budget. they have a plan. they've passed it and got re-elected having done that. the senate got re-elected because they never voted on anything. only way they were able to get re-elected. haven't put something forward and the president's plan was an outline that the house and senate voted against. you can't vote you have a mandate when your own party voted against it. >> katrina. >> there was an election. americans voted very clearly for a sense of different priorities than grover norquist has stood for. one was that the richest in this country paid their fair share and i also resist very strongly matthew dowd with the good band-aid and all but what he said about the left and right. it's not just the left, it's not just the right, the progressives but americans in survey after survey support social security,
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medicare and to take social security away from widowed women when the richest are paying the lowest taxes in modern memory is not about being a compassionate country in this time of season, it is about a time that's lost its way. there are good ways to reduce the debt and deficit but the largest issue, george, is that this is a manufactured crisis. we don't have a short-term deficit problem. we have a jobs and growth problem and faltering recovery but we should put off the sequester, put off this grand bargain, come back, let the bush tax cuts expire, make sure the middle class -- >> you're saying just go off the cliff at this time? >> the cliff is a manufactured media drama but the largest point is to say that the left are progressives supporting the great reforms of -- >> i would -- >> at a time when the richest are paying their lowest -- >> i would discount that maybe but on january 2nd when everyone's taxes go up, it may not feel manufactured but real to an awful lot of americans. >> that's the point and this is what folks don't understand. where she's making a strong point is we're taking this, this incredible mallet and about
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to smash america and the people who will suffer are those in my community who want to go to college and lose avenues about how to do that, about the fbi agents cut that are protecting our borders and our nation from a challenge. people will be cut out on programs that support the poorest americans get access to healthy food and a strong strength for their children and this is what bothers me right now. there is a way forward through this. >> there is a way forward and, peggy, i want to bring it back to you. it does seem if you look at the constellation of forces in washington, the only way that something is actually going to get to the president's desk is if house speaker john boehner agrees to let there be a vote on something that will get democratic votes and republican votes and probably shear off his most conservative members. >> that may be true. that may be where this whole thing ends, but i think it still has to be made, this point, that everybody, republicans included on capitol hill, they all know there's going to be a tax increase. they know it. >> done. >> this is coming. even if it doesn't come in
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sequester, it's going to come in a deal, so they all know that, but for two reasons, one for the seriousness of it, a $16 trillion long-term debt has to be dealt with and also so republicans can say, okay, we got something, a little fiscal sanity, in return for a tax increase. there ought to be plenty room for there because the president and the house -- >> the president suggested -- the president has spending cuts. the reality is there's been compromise and there's been give and we have a way forward not to hurt american people and what we're driving ourselves to is a real fiscal cliff, there will be thousands of dollars cut for families barely making their mortgage payments or barely holding on and so to have a ridiculous debate right now when really real american families are in the lurch now are going to be suffering in ways that most in washington don't understand. >> what's the way out? >> then why doesn't the president stop this? he is the one that can deal with boehner. he's tried --
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[ all talking at once ] >> not allowing -- >> george, the way out ultimately has to be right down the middle. right down the middle where there's a series of compromises. every good leadership is about both conservative ideas and progressive ideas, we have to move forward, move forward into the future and conserve thoughts that are helpful to the country. leadership is about both of those ideas. da. >> but -- >> wait, katrina. the problem we have is both the left and the right set down markers on the table and grover and his group said we can do it without raising taxes on the wealthy. >> we passed a bill. >> you cannot call for a sacrifice and say we won't -- we know the dynamics of medicare, medicaid and social security, the demography of this country cannot sustain those -- >> i want to make a deal with grover. i want to make a deal with grover. there are fair share ways to reduce the deficit. the short-term deficit isn't the
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main problem we have, but the republicans last week voted to keep the defense budget out of the cuts, out of the sequester. i would like to say to mr. norquist that the left and the right, citizens of conscious and sanity, should agree that the most loaded, defensive one is the defense budget and make cuts this that and do a financial transaction tax and those are the drivers of the problems of our economy, social security shouldn't by law cannot contribute to the federal deficit so it shouldn't even be in the same sentence with debt. >> while we talk about imaginary things that might happen in the future, on january 1st and 2nd we have the very real thing that nobody talked about and people know at home haven't been hearing about it by the press, a series of tax increases to pay for obama care that start january 2nd in this country. the president has taken those off the table. this is not part of the sequester or the fiscal cliff. this is a trillion dollar tax increase over the next decade
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that just hit. so there's a $20 billion to $30 billion over the next 10 years tax on medical devices that make stents, prosthetic devices -- >> all signed into law by the president. >> the law of the land, 90% of the tax increases to pay for obama care conveniently, interestingly took effect, begin to take effect after the president got himself safely re-elected. if you're a poor person and you get sick, and you have 7 1/2% of your adjustable gross income used up in medical costs, the president decided, the democrats in congress voted, to take that -- >> i get your point -- >> average americans who are very sick are paying $2 billion to $3 billion more in taxes to pay for obama care. these are tax increases on the middle class put there by obama. he wants you to talk about taxing the rich as he's busy socking it to the middle class. >> i'm sorry.
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there is a luxury of a debate that washington may have, that folks like me on the ground in cities all across america don't have. i've got to balance a budget. but what we've had to do in newark is cut our workforce almost 25% and cut government spending almost 22 but we've had to raise taxes as well because it's a pragmatic way forward. but this is what i learned in newark. if you start cutting programs for the poor, you start to inflict a damage not on the poor but on yourself because in this country, it's the truth. it's easier to raise strong children than to heal broken men. we wonder why we have such high prison systems and high medical costs, we're not making the front end investments in colleges and universities and cut their ago central into college and universities, we may get a short-term benefit but lose the long-term gain. >> i think our table is reflecting why congress is having trouble, as well. the other big debate over how to confront violence in schools and across the country. we saw that press conference by
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wayne lapierre on friday. the national rifle association executive vice president, and, boy, did it draw a fierce reaction. look at the cover of "the new york post" and "daily news." "daily news," craziest man on earth, "new york post," "gun nut." grover, you are a member of the board of the nra and i know you agree with the positions of the organization, but do you think that performance helped your cause on friday? >> well, what's interesting is the reaction to when wayne lapierre because he heads the nra. when bill clinton introduced the same idea on april 16th in 1999 after columbine, federal money for armed guards at schools, you didn't see the -- >> but that didn't matter. >> well, it may have, but i think this interesting point that the idea is one that has a bipartisan background, i know that the leadership of the nra was just over in israel meeting with the people who do the training for the people who carry guns in schools to protect children. these are -- this is an idea that seems fairly reasonable, and when presented by bill clinton, you know, new yorkers
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didn't attack it, and so i think part of what we're seeing i think sadly is, again, rahm emanuel's comment "never let a good crisis go to waste," and gun advocates jumped on every tragedy and tried to exploit it. i think the nra did well to hold off for awhile in responding. >> i take what you say about the mood of it. here's something that i think was important, the first half of the wayne lapierre statement in which he passionately scored our culture, the video games, the movies, the whole thing, we've all been through this for 25 years, and yet we cannot say it enough, our culture is helping to make unstable people sick and dangerous. it does make a contribution. he was right to say it. i was delighted to hear it. i am for the banning of the extended magazines or extended clips -- i can never figure out
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exactly how to say that, but i know what it is. i don't think there's any reason to have 33 bullets in a killing machine that you can take into a place like a school. i think there are simple and discreet measures that can be taken on capitol hill such as the banning of the magazines that could actually be helpful for our country and would give us a feeling of relief. >> george, i don't know -- [ all talking at once ] >> please, please. i don't know if anybody here has seen anybody shot. i have. i don't know if anybody here has had to put their hand in somebody's chest and stop their bleeding. i have. so they don't die.
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and the false debate, it's a false debate. this is a convenient trick to try to divide our country more. most of us in america including gun owners agree on things that would stop the carnage going on in all cities in america. let me agree with grover. all the shootings in my city, only one was done by a law-abiding citizen who bought a gun. buy the guns you want. but the problem is in america right now is that a terrorist person who is on the no-fly list could go into the secondary market today and buy a weapon. we need to shut down these secondary markets and when you poll nra members, you poll nra members, 74% agree that nobody in america should be able to buy a gun without doing a background debate. let's stop the false debate. >> cory is right. this is a false -- >> shut down -- >> part of what happens, this is so many things in washington, it's built on myths. and it's not reality, and the nra and the leadership of the nra is built on myth. i would not have guessed that anybody who had diminished credibility could get up and diminish their credibility more than what wayne lapierre did friday. average folks, like cory said, average folks know you have to do something about this and know how comprehensive. i live in texas.
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i own five guns, and all the folks i associate with, when you go out hunting, you take your guns and you put them in a safe and everybody goes to bed. it's the wild west everybody talks about the wild west, the wild west, almost every part of the wild west you check your guns at the door before you walk in somewhere in a wild west town is the way it used to be. i worked for senator bentsen who you know. senator bentsen represented texas. he helped pass the assault weapons ban. though it may not solve the problem, i expected wayne lapierre, i actually expected wayne lapierre to stand up and say exactly what he said and then say, oh, by the way, i have stuck to too many dogmatic positions for too long and it's time to ban the -- >> this is the importance. the nra is built on myths at this point in many ways. the nra has 4 million members. it is essentially a lobby for gun manufacturers. not for its members, who the majority of them according to a poll commissioned by frank luntz, a republican pollster, do not
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agree with the nra's positions on background checks, on the ban on assault weapons. i think that's important because the nra myth has put us in a stranglehold in this country. the other thing, i respect the noble sentiments about the need to treat mental illness and deal with the video games but other western industrialized countries have those problems and have video culture. japan is at the cutting edge and don't allow access to military assault-style -- this is not about freedom but tyranny and destruction. >> this is what frustrates -- [ all talking at one ] >> the mental illness argument has been used to evade action. more guns and bullets, more dead children. we must, must regulate guns and i do think it's a tipping point moment. not just "the daily news" and "the new york post" but you're seeing pro-nra senators like senator manchin, senator warner, governor hickenlooper in colorado, others saying we must move, speed is of the essence. >> senator manchin said we have
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to consider everything. let me give grover a chance to respond to some of this now. >> look, the national rifle association represents a great number of americans and 20% will tell you in polls that they belong to the nra, and so one is a very important issue, one, we should support the first amendment, as well as the second amendment. i'm not sure -- some people's suggestions of censorship worries me. one, we ought to calm down and not take tragedies like this and use them for political purposes. president obama has been president for four years. if he thought that some gun control would solve this problem, he should have been pushing it four years ago. he didn't. democrats had a majority in the house and supermajority in the house and senate for the first two years that they were in office. if they thought that this was really an important issue, they might have done something then. they didn't so what they're now doing is politicizing a tragedy rather than trying to do something that might --
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>> i'm sorry. one point is very important. what happened in connecticut was a grievous tragedy, but every single day in america, every single day, people in communities like mine go to bed fearing violence. you see 34 people murdered every single day, and with carnage like this going on regularly in our country, when you have gun owners and nongun owners and nra members and non-nra members all agree on changes that would make cities like mine safer. i'm tired of the political debates. they're not necessary. i'm tired of the ideological positions. we don't even need to visit them. let's stick to the pragmatic center where all americans believe the same thing and let's pass legislation that would make america -- >> and pragmatism means what works, and those states with concealed carry permits that allow honest and decent citizens to carry a gun with them, they have less crime, and the crime has fallen faster than -- >> when there's a bad kid in the school yard with a baseball bat, we don't give everybody else baseball bats and say, go to
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deal with it and defend yourself. what we do is take the baseball bat away and sit down and say what can we do to make -- >> we have to take the baseball bat away from the bully. >> look at the data. one out of two women being murdered by a gun are being murdered by someone they love. the ones that have shut those down, they've reduced murders by 40%. didn't eliminate them. i'm not saying this will solve the problem but eliminating the secondary problem, so a terrorist can't fly on a plane, stop them from -- >> are there any of these -- any of these proposals that everyone here is calling common sense? do you think the nra is open to considering any -- any kind of reforms in the wake of this tragedy? >> well, the argument is, look, we ought to do things that work and we ought to not do things that don't work and we have to take a look at what has worked and drop the number of murders, rapes and robberies and have more with concealed carry permits in your state.
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the data is clear, it's been out there for decades. we know what works, which is allowing honest people to carry guns on themselves. >> it also shows the states that have the more gun regulation and less gun ownership have lower levels of gun violence. >> no, chicago is probably the most heavily regulated city and state in the nation, illinois -- >> come on. look where -- >> i've been coming back, other countries, i come back to this, even individualistic countries, you know, like australia, in 1996 they had a gun rampage. you take the guns out, as cory said, you begin to take the guns out, you begin to reduce the harm that can be done -- >> but don't we -- ? >> there's no question -- >> two small points, two discreet points. there are many americans who are very pro-second amendment but they are not gun people themselves. i can tell you let me speak for them for a moment. we consider the phrases like "assault weapons," "semiautomatics,"
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"automatic, "assault rifles." all of those appear to be terps of art used by people who occasionally are trying to mislead. i wish publicly we could make clear exactly which of these weapons are most dangerous, most unhelpful and most unneeded. we could do that publicly and we could take a week and do that. i wish that would happen. >> another angle for a second. >> i'll let you finish your point. >> i think someone has to fairly make the point here that americans have guns. not only because they love the sport, not only because they love hunting, not only because they think it is their right. not only in some cases because they're a little nutty and love guns, they also have guns because they are afraid. they think their society and their culture are very frail and in trouble. they think someday they may be on their own. they want guns to protect themselves and protect their families. i think that has to be respected and not denigrated. >> so the military assault weapons -- a military assault
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weapon which can pump 30 to 40 bullets in the face of a kid, that's what we need to protect ourselves from in this country. >> those things i am against but the idea of gun ownership and some significant gun ownership and strength is not to be denigrated. you didn't completely understand. look, we have to understand the culture. we and a lot of americans are blue after newtown because they think we can't turn this around. we are going to descend into -- >> we're having a long debate again. >> oh, my. >> listen to me. the people dying in chicago, the people dying in newark are not being done with law-abiding gun owners. we do not need to go after the guns. a law-abiding mentally stable america, that's not america's problem. this is -- chicago, where are chicago's guns coming from? we trace the weapons coming into
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my city, and when residents say stop the carnage, look at the guns we're tracing, i have no power to stop them coming into my city, as rahm does in chicago, they're coming from places that have free secondary markets where criminals and gun runners buy them so easily and pump them into communities like mine and easy for a person like a criminal to get his hands on a gun. no person -- the nra included -- no person could justify a system in america where somebody like the mumbai terrorists who didn't use a bomb who used automatic and semiautomatic weapons that you could so easily get in this country -- >> that's why law enforcement -- [ all talking at once ] >> -- machine guns in this country. >> wait a minute. we're finding these weapons on our street. one more, my police director, 25-year professional has never seen as many semiautomatic weapons and they're not coming from law-abiding citizens. they're coming from a secondary trade. >> so clear -- >> the gang bangers, who is using them? who is killing people? >> criminals are killing people. >> that will have to be the last word today.
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this has been a terrific debate. obviously it will continue. thanks to everyone on the roundtable. have a good holiday. grover norquist will stick around and answer your questions. when we come back, a look at the white house's christmas spirit. to the best vacation spot on earth. (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf.
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its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. and now we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. this week the pentagon released the name of one soldier killed
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in afghanistan, and we'll be right back with a holiday thank you.
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♪ sleigh bells ring >> i always think it's the prettiest. each year i think it's the prettiest. ♪ snow is glistening >> it's like a wonderland. ♪ we're happy tonight >> it's always spectacular every year. ♪ gone away >> welcome to the white house! pretty cool, huh? ♪ here to stay is a new bird >> every tree from midland beach and all across the country shine as a beacon of hope for all americans.
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i'd like to wish each and every one of you a very merry christmas and a peaceful and joyful holiday season. ♪ he'll say are you married >> a look back at christmas in the white house. that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight, and before we go, a big thank you to everyone here behind the scenes who brings you "this week" every week. have a happy, safe and blessed christmas. ♪ ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ hallelujah ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah ♪ ♪ for the lord god omnipotent reigneth ♪ ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ hallelujah hallelujah
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♪ for the lord god omnipotent reigneth ♪ ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ for the lord god omnipotent reigneth ♪ ♪ for the lord god omnipotent reigneth ♪ ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ for the lord god omnipotent reigneth ♪ ♪ hallelujah ♪ the kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our lord and of his christ ♪ ♪ and of his christ and he shall reign ♪ ♪ forever and ever and he shall reign ♪ ♪ forever and ever and he shall reign ♪ ♪ forever and ever and he shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ king of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah ♪ ♪ and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah ♪ ♪ king of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah ♪ ♪ and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah ♪ ♪ king of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah ♪
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♪ and lord of lords king of kings and lord of lords ♪ and he shall reign ♪ ♪ forever and ever and he shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ king of kings forever and ever ♪ ♪ and lord of lords hallelujah hallelujah ♪ ♪ hall lelujah hallelujah ♪
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